The Service Universel de l'Insémination Animale (Universal Animal Artificial Insemination Service) providing Territorial Equality!
Until 2006, artificial insemination (AI) cooperatives were regulated by the 1996 Farming Act which granted them a geographical monopoly in return for their investment in breeding schemes and collective progeny testing. In 2006 the Agricultural Guidance Law took into account Community rules and farming developments, and terminated the territorial monopoly for semen insemination cooperatives and introduced a competitive system for animal artificial insemination. The French Government then instituted a universal artificial insemination service (SUIA) to prevent inequalities in access to insemination in areas with a weak territorial network or with a low farming density.
A Rock Solid Service Assignment
In particular, this universal service is based on clearing funds making a quality service possible at an acceptable price for all farmers to be supplied. Initially from 2007 to 2009 the Ministry of Agriculture asked the previously accredited insemination cooperatives to provide this universal service. Since 2010, after three years of transition, the SUIA has been managed by calls for applications for 5-year periods.
Accredited operators agree to:
- carry out at least one daily round on working days,
- offer this service to all farmers in the area for which they are accredited,
- deliver the doses they have ordered for their own use to farmers who inseminate their herds themselves.
A Major Role in Sustainable Development
In 2014 the Universal Animal Artificial Insemination Service (SUIA) produced a report after eight years of operation. The French Government called on the Conseil général de l’alimentation, de l’agriculture et des espaces ruraux (CGAAER - General Council for Food, Agriculture and Rural Spaces) to audit the system. Its report (CGAAER No.13081 - Evaluation of the SUIA - March 2014) showed that "compensation paid is an important element in maintaining a real universal service so that all farmers who so wish are served with acceptable prices wherever they are in France. This service meets a territorial development objective and, because it preserves the dynamism and sustainability of local breeds, also meets an objective for the protection of the diversity of the zootechnical heritage". It has also been observed that the SUIA made it possible to "maintain a territorial network throughout France due to inseminators whose social role is recognised unanimously. "